Free lung function tests, inhaler demonstrations and advice on managing breathlessness are just some of the things that members of the public can take advantage of at the Healthy Lungs roadshow being held on Wednesday 14 November, 10am-3pm at Number One Riverside.
Experts from NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG), Rochdale Health Alliance, Bury and Rochdale Local Care Organisation’s Enhanced Respiratory Service, Link4Life and a variety of health organisations from across the Rochdale borough are holding the interactive information and advice event to help local people learn about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - a group of lung conditions which cause breathing difficulties - and the treatment and support available locally.
There are more than 5,500 people across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale who are diagnosed with COPD, and many more who have not received a diagnosis. COPD includes emphysema, which is damage to the air sacs in the lungs, and chronic bronchitis, which is long term inflammation of the airways. COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people don't realise they have it. The breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit your normal activities, although treatment can help keep the condition under control.
Dr Chris Duffy, local GP and Chair of HMR CCG said: “Millions of people across the UK have COPD and don’t even know it. They may be struggling with symptoms like increasing breathlessness, persistent chesty cough, and frequent chest infections and wheezing. We want to raise awareness of COPD in the Rochdale borough, help people get the treatment and support they need and improve their quality of life. We’ve planned the event to be as interactive as we can and I’d encourage anyone with any questions about COPD to come along to the Healthy Lungs roadshow and find out more.”
The event has been organised to support Self Care Week, 12-18 November 2018, which encourages people to take care of their health and wellbeing and improve their understanding of doing so. World COPD Day 2018 also takes place later in the month on 21 November.
Dr Duffy added: “Self-managing COPD can help patients take some control of their condition. Taking regular exercise classes designed for people with COPD can make a big impact on the condition, as can learning to control your breathing and manage breathlessness; eating a healthy diet; taking care of your mental health; protecting yourself against the flu with the free flu jab; and learning to manage flare ups. As we move into the winter months, managing COPD symptoms is more important than ever. Advice and tips for self-care will be available at the event as well as information about the newly launched Self Care COPD Pathway which sets out the steps that patients can take to help themselves manage their condition and details of the local services in place to support them.”